How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago White Sox

Guaranteed Rate Field

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago White Sox

Posted by Kurt Smith

Here it is Chicago tourists and baseball fans…your complete and ridiculously detailed guide for how to get to Guaranteed Rate Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox! I’ve researched the ways to get to a White Sox home game thoroughly, and have lots of helpful tips below for you below.

First a disclaimer: if you’re simply going to drive and park, that’s fine…it’s probably the easiest way to get to a White Sox baseball game. But that’s a whole thing in itself. You have multiple options as far as alternate routes, parking locations, and even restaurant shuttles, so I devoted a separate post to Guaranteed Rate Field parking. Plenty of useful knowledge there, if that’s your plan I’d check that out first.

So this post will cover public transit and other ways to get to Guaranteed Rate Field, including by bicycle!

Here’s the list broken down, so you can skip to what you want:

From Chicago, Part 1: CTA Red Line + Connections
From Chicago, Part 2: CTA Purple Line
From Chicago, Part 3: CTA Green Line
From Chicago, Part 4: CTA Bus Routes
From Illinois Suburbs, Part 1: Metra Rail (+ The Lou Jones Station)
From Illinois Suburbs, Part 2: Pace Express Bus
From Indiana Suburbs: The South Shore Line
From Milwaukee + Other Cities: Megabus/Amtrak
Plan Your Route With RTA
Guaranteed Rate Field By Bicycle
Divvy Bikeshare

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how to get to guaranteed rate field cta red line

When you can see the station from the ballpark, that’s a plus.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: CTA Red Line. The venerable CTA Red Line train is the most commonly used train to get to Guaranteed Rate. The aptly named Sox-35th Street station is a very short and easy walk away east of the ballpark. Coming off the train, just follow the mass of White Sox fans over the bridge crossing the Dan Ryan Expressway. Try to ride in the front of the train, which is closest to the stairs at the station.

White Sox fans are packed on the Red Line both before and after games, although it’s nowhere near as bad as it can be for Cubs games. After the game is over, you can usually wait on the platform (or at the ChiSox Bar & Grill) for another car or two before a seat becomes available, especially on a weeknight. You shouldn’t have to wait too long. Gate 6 near left field is the closest gate to the station.

The Red Line isn’t modern and screeches in spots, but it is ruthlessly efficient. Trains run 24/7 on the Red (and Blue) Line. You should never have to wait more than 12-15 minutes for a train, and they are more frequent during rush hour.

All the other CTA subway lines transfer to the Red Line in the downtown Loop area of the city (so named because all of the CTA routes loop around it), so from just about anywhere in Chicago you can get to the Sox-35th stop with one transfer or less. Use whatever park-and-ride works; Howard at the north end is $6 for 12 hours, and Linden on the north end of the Purple Line is just $4 a day as I write this.

There are street parking spots close to the Red Line at certain stations, like near the Berwyn station or previously mentioned Chinatown. Most natives say that these neighborhoods are okay to leave your car in. I would book it in advance with SpotHero, of course.


trains to white sox game purple line

Ah, there’s the Purple! Wait…where’s the Red?

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: CTA Purple Line. For fans sneaking their way to the South Side from the north, the Purple Line is an express line that connects to the Red Line at Howard station, and continues southbound to the Loop during rush hour for a faster ride. You can transfer to the Red Line at several stations downtown (State/Lake is probably the shortest walk) and save yourself quite a few stops.

The Purple Line is a better alternative to the Red Line if it’s available and if you’re parking at the Howard station at the north end of the Red Line, since it is less likely to be crowded.

The Purple Line doesn’t run late enough to use it all the way back for night games, so you shouldn’t use it from Linden or anywhere else that the Red Line can’t reach. I’ve read that CTA provides extra service for the Purple and the Yellow Line to Skokie after night games, but I couldn’t confirm that.

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how to get to guaranteed rate field cta green line

You might be a couple more blocks away, but you got to sit on the train!

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: CTA Green Line. From other points in Chicago, you can also transfer to or use the Green Line and either transfer to the Red Line at the Roosevelt station (as opposed to State/Lake station in the Loop, which has much more traffic), or stay on the Green Line to the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT station, which is three short blocks east of the ballpark and fewer stops from downtown.

This part of town used to be not so great and this method wasn’t recommended for newbies, but there is a police station nearby and the neighborhood has reportedly improved. If you know what you’re doing and want to avoid Red Line crowds, you should be fine. There will likely be a contingent of Sox fans at the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT stop after the game, but not a Red Line size crowd.

Green Line trains do not run all night—the last one usually leaves 35th St. at around 1:30 AM. You should probably be out of the area by then anyway.


get to a white sox game CTA

From Clark/Lake station, you can move around Chicago like a queen on a chessboard.

All of the other El/subway lines transfer to the Red or Green Lines in the Loop. Transfers from the Blue Line to the Red at Jackson or the Green Line at Clark/Lake are free, although for Clark/Lake you will still need to run your Ventra card through a turnstile. The CTA says your card will not be charged for that transfer.

Transferring from another line will mean a long ride though. Riding the Blue from O’Hare to Sox-35th (transferring to the Red at Jackson) for example, will take close to an hour, so be prepared for the wait. I speak from experience.

Whatever train you use, be sure to get a round trip ticket or pass or Ventra card, and save yourself the pressure of buying another ticket with fans waiting in line behind you.


how to get to guaranteed rate field CTA bus

This bus named after Charlie Wentworth, who pitched for the White Sox. OK, maybe not.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: CTA Bus. The White Sox suggest using any of a number of CTA buses to get to the ballpark, including the #1, #4, #24, #29, #35, #39, and #44. All of these buses drop riders off at or near the park, but not all of them run late into the evening; only the #4 (Cottage Grove) and the #35 (35th Street) run past midnight. The #4 runs “owl” service all night and you can jump on the Red Line at Washington and State Streets.

The #4 runs north-south for the most part and the #35 runs generally east-west. Other buses should probably only be used for day games; check the schedule on the CTA website before trying one. It’s not a bad idea for day games though, since few people think to use them. There are a multitude of buses that connect with the Red Line, and you may be able to find a viable park-and-ride for one of them. (See my RTA tip below.)

Near the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line stop that Green Line riders use to get to the park is the stop for the #29 bus, which runs on a generally parallel (and less crowded) route to the Red Line up to the Navy Pier and its attractions. The #29 runs north until about 11:30 PM on weeknights, so that is an alternative you could use to get downtown. Again, this wasn’t the best neighborhood, so check with a native to see if this is worthwhile.

CTA and Pace Bus (more about Pace in a minute) make “Ventra” cards available; which are transit debit cards on which you add value and then use for travel. If you live in the area, are spending a few days in Chicago, or traveling with multiple people, this saves the trouble of buying tickets and passes. As of this writing Ventra passes are not yet available for Metra trains.

$$$ Tightwad Tip! $$$ All train and bus lines all offer discounts for seniors, military personnel, disabled riders, students and children. If you or someone joining you falls under these categories, have a look on their websites for reduced fare information. Or you can look for it at the RTA website, which covers all of the Chicago transit entities.

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how to get to guaranteed rate field white sox metra

Again, being able to see the venue from the station is key.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Metra Rail. Metra is a commuter rail service designed for commuters outside of the metropolitan area. Before 2011, fans could take any Metra route into the heart of the city and then take a short walk to the Red Line or a bus that would carry them the rest of the way to a game. But the kind folks at Metra actually built a new station for IIT students and Sox fans.

The Lou Jones-Bronzeville Metra station is on 35th and LaSalle, just east of the Expressway, and is the second to last stop on the Rock Island Line coming from Joliet. Metra has added extra service before and following Sox games–they run trains at 9:52 PM and 11:22 PM. Set your alarm if the game goes extras.

Other Metra routes are perfectly viable for getting to Guaranteed Rate. Metra has 12 lines that head into downtown Chicago from all directions, all of them end somewhere in the Loop. Several lines stop at the Ogilvie Transportation Center, just over a block south of the Clinton station on the Green Line.

The White Sox inexplicably don’t give directions on how to use Metra for a game, so if you can stand to do it, use the Cubs website. It gives directions (under “driving directions”, for some reason) to get to the Red Line from most of the Metra lines. You can shower afterward.


metra train to white sox game

You can see Chicago too. And Chicago can see you.

Some of the Cubs’ suggestions involve bus rides, so check the schedule of the buses too. Or check Google maps, because sometimes you can find an easier route than the Cubs recommend if you don’t mind walking a couple of blocks.

For example, coming from the south, the Cubs suggest using the Rock Island Line and then getting on the Brown Line at LaSalle and then transferring to the Red Line at Fullerton. In fact you can walk a block north on State Street and get on the Red Line at Jackson Station, saving a transfer.

Metra trains run frequently during rush hours, but otherwise they are quite infrequent, arriving on about an hourly basis. Check the schedule of your route beforehand so you aren’t sitting in the station too long and get there on time (there is a small shelter there). You can use Metra for a night game, but most of the last trains leave Chicago a little after midnight, so don’t dawdle too late. Remember to figure in the time getting to the Metra station from the Red Line.

Metra fares are broken down by zones; each zone you pass through will add to your fare. Again, get your tickets in advance rather than paying the conductor on the train, which is more expensive. There is a trip planner on Metra’s website, if this sounds as complicated to you as it does to me.

Metra is well regarded; it is fast and efficient and you can even drink alcohol on the train. I would make sure it’s not too difficult to get to the Red or Green Line though.

pace bus express to guaranteed rate field white sox

I haven’t been to Chicago since it was U.S. Cellular Field. However, the bus is just as cool.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Pace Bus. Pace, the bus service for out-of-town commuters, runs three “Guaranteed Rate Field Express” buses from six locations for nearly all Sox games, the exception being weekday games in April, May and September.

NOTE: As I write this, the Pace Express service is temporarily suspended due to staffing shortages. Rats. I’m still including this in case it starts up again though, because I’m a fan.

The locations and addresses are listed both on Pace’s and the Sox’s website: Markham, Tinley Park, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, Bolingbrook and Burr Ridge. Pace has a flyer on their website that lists the departure times, generally 2-2.5 hours before the game.

All of the locations have free parking, and the bus ride is unbeatably cheap; just $4.50 each way as of this writing. You will need exact change or $1 bills. The bus drops you off at the door near the ChiSox Bar & Grille, which is kind of the main entrance. You do need to hustle back to your bus, since they depart 30 minutes after the last out. It’s a good idea to remember the route number too, since they are all similar.

Again, the Pace Bus is a great deal; parking is free, you’re spared traffic hassles, and best of all you can make new friends with the South Siders on the bus.


south shore line to white sox game

Check out the specials! (That’s why I’m here.)

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: South Shore Line. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) South Shore Line runs Indiana commuters as far east as South Bend to downtown Chicago, in case Notre Dame students decide to see a Sox game.

The South Shore Line ends at Millennium Station in Chicago, which is a short walk on Randolph Street to State Street and the Lake Station on the Red Line. Or you can hop off at the Museum Campus/11th Street station for a slightly longer walk to the Roosevelt Station and use the Red or Green lines. Fares on the South Shore Line are in relation to distance, similar to Metra, and are pretty reasonable. Parking lots are available at some stations but fills up quickly.

South Shore Line trains run till a little past midnight, so you should be okay using it. Just keep in mind the Red Line ride and walk to get there…give yourself at least an hour. Like Metra, they are infrequent later in the evening and you might wait a while for one.

$$$ Tightwad Tip! $$$ Metra and South Shore Line offer certain discounts as well. Kids can ride free on weekends, and you can get a weekend Metra pass for unlimited rides, which means a lot of bang for your buck if you’re some distance away. You can get significant group discounts on Metra, which may turn out to be easier than finding someone who is willing to drive the bus through the South Side.


megabus chicago

When they are in service, they’re great. Just saying.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Megabus. If you’re coming from a nearby metropolis like Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland or other cities, Megabus is a very low cost bus service that can take you from city to city for as low as $1 (not likely, but definitely possible if you book early enough). The bus stops at Chicago Union Station; from there you can walk about six blocks or take the 151 bus to the Jackson station of the Red Line. Pass by the Willis Tower on the way.

Megabus is as efficient as you’d expect city-to-city bus services to be; there are some complaints about their punctuality, so you may want to get there early. The buses are fairly comfortable and have wi-fi, and you can’t beat the price. I’ve saved a bunch a money on Megabuses.


chicago white sox game amtrak

Thank you. Any hot dog stands around?

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Greyhound/Amtrak. If you’re coming into Chicago on Amtrak, the train drops you off at Union Station; from there you can follow the steps listed in the Metra section. The Greyhound Station is not far from the Clinton Station of the Blue Line.

Coming from Milwaukee or points between, Amtrak runs a daily commuter train called the Hiawatha, which can get you from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Union Station in about 90 minutes. It’s not the cheapest ride (just over $40 round trip), but it’s very comfortable, features at-seat cart service, and saves mucho traffic trouble. The Hiawatha doesn’t run late enough to make it viable for night games, but it’s a cool way to get to a day game if you have the means.


how to get to guaranteed rate field rta

Lots of resources to help you get to this point.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Use The RTA. If you use public transportation, the nice Chicago transit people have created a Regional Transit Authority, whose website has a comprehensive trip planner that shows you how to get from point A to point Sox and back using CTA, Metra and/or Pace. I highly recommend this if you’re using any of the suggestions here.

You can plug in your starting point and destination and find the easiest route using all of Chicago’s public transit systems—it will usually list multiple itineraries to choose from with fares included. You can also decide whether you want the quickest trip, fewest transfers or least walking. This is extremely helpful, given how complex the overall system really is.

Don’t forget to plug in the return trip as well…not all of the transit routes run all night.


get to white sox game by bicycle

No bicycle racing on the train!

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Bicycle. You can two-wheel it to a Sox game; there are bike racks between Gates 2 and 3 and at the ChiSox Bar. If you are using a combination of bicycling and public transit, you can lock your bike up at most CTA stations, carry your bicycle on certain cars of the train, or put it on a bike rack on any CTA bus. There is a nice large bike rack (that gets used plenty) at the Sox-35th St. Station.

Chicago is a proudly bicycle-friendly city; there are over 400 miles of designated bike routes, including on 31st Street through the IIT campus. You can request a bicycle map from the city’s website.

Pace buses are also equipped with bicycle racks on the front end. The CTA website even features helpful instructions for how to secure your bicycle on a bus rack.

CTA and Metra allow you to carry your bike onto the train during non-rush hour (7-9 AM and 4-6 PM) periods, but if you’re using the Red Line to the game that will be difficult. You could be waiting a few trains before there is enough space for you to carry your bike on.


divvy bikeshare guaranteed rate field

Yes, you can take this bicycle to a White Sox game and leave it there.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Divvy Bikeshare. Divvy Bikeshare is the bicycle sharing system in Chicago; in July of 2016 they added a station at Guaranteed Rate Field (at 35th and Wentworth). For Cubs games they actually offered free valet service to ensure a station for each bike, but I doubt they will do that for most Sox games. There are several other stations nearby, including one at IIT near the Green Line station.

Divvy members who pay an annual fee can rent a bicycle from any of hundreds of stations in the city and drop it off at another station; if you are lucky enough to have tickets to a Cubs game the same day, you can grab a bike from a station near Wrigley and cycle to Guaranteed Rate (I truly think of everything for baseball fans). Ride off that deep dish and save money on parking to boot.

Divvy also offers e-bikes and scooters too, in case you’re too tired to pedal after the game.


rideshare taxi to guaranteed rate field

If you’re this close, you’re probably paying too much.

How To Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Taxicab/Rideshare. Finally, I highly recommend against using a taxi especially after the game; before the game you can get dropped off a block or two away from the park to avoid getting caught up in traffic with the meter running.

The Sox suggest hailing a cab or Uber/Lyft between Gate 4 and Gate 6 on 35th, but many people may be trying this, and sitting in postgame traffic can get expensive. In addition, unless you’re familiar with the area, you probably won’t be comfortable wandering the south side of Chicago to find a cab. The Red Line is a better bet.


how to get to guaranteed rate field ballpark white sox

If all else fails, catch a ride with this guy!

There you are my friends, your complete and ultimate guide for getting to a game or event at the new Comiskey Park (I really dislike the ballpark’s current name)!

Happy to help you more with your next Chicago White Sox game or Guaranteed Rate Field event…be sure to check out how to get a great seat, some great food items, and other tips here! (And check out my Wrigley Field advice too!)

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12 Guaranteed Rate Field Food Tips | Chicago White Sox

Posted by Kurt Smith

Next time you’re headed to a game at the home of the Chicago White Sox, be prepared to know what to eat! I’ve listed here a dozen great options for Guaranteed Rate Field food, with helpful photos.

I decided to discuss the food items with staying power. In 2023, for example, the White Sox added a Kung Pao chicken wrap, a “Champagne of Dogs” (footlong spicy chili cheese dog), and the Belgian Banger sausage with red cabbage slaw to the menu.

All good, but the fancy items tend to come and go. What I’ve listed below are great food options at a White Sox game that have been around since the U.S. Cellular Field days. They seem to be staples of the Guaranteed Rate Field menu.

(Need more Guaranteed Rate Field help? Check out this excellent primer on finding a great seat, this complete parking guide, and some more tips for newbies!)

Anyway, here we go, after this quick word from our sponsor:

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guaranteed rate field food comiskey dogs

“Who put all of these poppy seeds on my roll?!?”

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #1) Comiskey Dogs. You can get simple hot dogs or a sausage at a baseball game, or you can find one of the Comiskey Dogs kiosks and get your regular or footlong dog south side of Chicago style. If you’re visiting, this would be my best choice for White Sox game food.

For the uninitiated (if you’re from Chicago, I apologize for boring you), a Chicago-style dog is a Vienna Beef frank topped with (in order) yellow mustard, chopped onions, neon green relish, a pickle spear, tomato chunks, sport peppers and celery salt, all on a poppy seed roll.

Chicago natives call this a dog “dragged through the garden”, which makes it sound nice and healthy. I don’t know if you get Comiskey Dogs on the upper deck, so keep that in mind buying your tickets.


chicago white sox food bobak's sausages

We are going to need more than one roll.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #2) Sausage and Peppers. You can find generic stands named for Sox greats like Chico Carrasquel and Dick Allen or for various baseball terms, most everywhere here. They have Bobak’s spicy Polish sausage or Italian sausage topped with grilled peppers and onions.

The sausages are so popular here that White Sox fans talk about the smell of them in their praise of the ballpark. Probably true of any ballpark, but most people don’t talk about it as much elsewhere.

Besides that, this not being one of the fancier items, it’s usually a better value than most, if you neglected to enjoy tailgating in the parking lot.


guaranteed rate field food comiskey burger

This is a good way to attract fans to your stand.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #3) Comiskey Burgers. Burger Barn is the place for the popular “Comiskey Burger”…two fairly large patties with cheddar cheese, pico salsa and other Chicago dog ingredients on a gourmet bun. I would have some napkins for this.

Burger Barn kiosks are pretty self-explanatory; it’s the place to get something other than the basic burger at generic stands. Pay a couple of extra bucks for that double burger with extra toppings. You’re worth it!

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white sox game food beggars pizza

The White Sox get that there’s no excuse for mediocre pizza in a Chicago ballpark.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #4) Beggars Pizza. Beggars Pizza has been the official pizza of the White Sox for some time now. Beggars is a local chain, with over two dozen locations in Chicago and northern Indiana.

Beggars offers their classic thin crust, but they have a deep dish edition last I checked. They’re generous with the cheese…their slogan is “We lay it on thick!” You can get your slice with pepperoni or sausage at most stands. Beggars also offers a gluten-free pizza.


guaranteed rate field food beggars pizza

“Pizza! Peanuts! Did we mention pizza and peanuts?”

Any stand that serves pizza serves Beggars, but they have their own colorful stands and you can’t miss them, including the “Pizza Pub” in left center field. You can hobnob with other fans and have toasted ravioli or chicken parm sandwiches, or unusual pizza types like with Italian beef and giardiniera.


chicago white sox food turkey club supreme corned beef

I am sure it’s more than $8 now. I just wanted to show you what is possible for your ballgame sandwich.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #5) Deli Sandwiches. The menu at the Carvery (it was called the Triple Play Carvery last I looked) includes deli-style sandwiches with superlative names like the Ultimate Turkey Club and the Supreme Corned Beef.

They’re not playing around at least. The Ultimate Turkey Club, for example, features turkey, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, and apricot chili aioli (!) on wheat bread. You need to stretch your mouth to get a biteful of that.

There is an Xfinity Zone that also offers carvery sandwiches as well as spots to sit. It’s a good spot to enjoy a sloppy deli sandwich.

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guaranteed rate field food italian beef meatball sandwich

Because sometimes, you just want the decision to be simple.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #6) Southside Sandwiches. In 2013 the Sox added the Southside Sandwiches kiosk, which keeps it simple: meatball or Buona Italian beef sandwiches (in Chicago, just call it “Italian beef”).

Both are put into an Italian roll; the meatball includes real parmesan and marinara, and you can get Kelsey D’s giardiniera, a veggie mixture with peppers for some kick on either sandwich. They call it “mild”, though.

These sandwiches aren’t too bad a deal, at ballpark prices anyway, and it’s another chance to try something uniquely Chicago.


guaranteed rate field food cuban sandwich

“Cuban? No, Dutch Irish.”

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #7) Cuban Sandwiches. Minnie Minoso was nicknamed “the Cuban Comet” for his base-stealing ability, so the Sox naturally named their stand selling Cuban sandwiches for him.

A Cuban sandwich is a hot pressed sandwich on a flatter bread; the Sox version includes ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles and “mojo” (garlic and lime) sauce. Cubans are a nice alternative to typical ballpark food; there’s a nice gooeyness about them.


chicago white sox game food build your own nachos helmet

Don’t worry about giving them a complicated order. These men are trained professionals.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #8) Build Your Own Nachos. Tex Mex nachos stands are fairly prevalent at the Rate. Here you can build your own nachos, fajitas, or tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, beans, Monterey Jack cheese, etc., an idea that was a long time coming in baseball.

Tex-Mex stands sell barbacoa (pulled pork, beef or chicken) to put on your nachos. To heck with that melted Velveeta noise—skip the basic joints and come here if you want real nachos. You can even get them in a big souvenir helmet. I strongly suggest washing the helmet before wearing it. I speak from experience. (I’m joking. I think.)

If you don’t need anything fancy for nachos there’s a few plain nachos kiosks elsewhere in the ballpark. But hey, if you’re here, you must be curious about how you can live better at the game.


guaranteed rate field food tacos

Ah, 35th Street. I see what they did there.


Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #9) 35th Street Tacos. 35th Street is another variation on ballpark food. The kiosk has beef tacos with chopped lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheddar, and pork carnitas with onions and cilantro. Both on a soft shell taco, and you can get a side of refried beans for a small fee.

I’ve read some nice reviews of this stand; the meat is nice and tender and the toppings are always fresh. The taco shells are corn, which I presume means they are gluten-free.


chicago white sox game food elotes

Because mayo makes everything better.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #10) Elotes. The Elotes kiosks, found on the upper and lower level concourses, sell bowls of corn shucked off the cob, popularly called “elotes”. The corn is then mixed with mayonnaise, butter, salt, hot peppers, shaker cheese, lemon juice and other flavorings, which effectively helps you forget that you’re eating a vegetable at a ballgame.

If you’re wondering why it’s not just called “corn”, it’s because they shuck the corn right there for you. I’ve read that the corn is taken off of the cob because the cobs could then become projectiles. But whatever, they’re popular with a lot of fans, and you can even get an elote corndog now.


chicago white sox game food churros

This might make a nice dessert for two.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #11) Churros. Many of the dessert stands on the lower level have churros, and I will tell you I haven’t seen churros in a lot of ballparks. There are some kiosks dedicated just to churros with multiple flavors. I’ve read you can get a churro ice cream sandwich at Section 157, near the left field pole.

If you want a churro, you should probably get one early before they get stale. A stale churro in the 8th inning is just not cool.


guaranteed rate field food funnel cakes

Because confectioner sugar is simply underrated.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food, Tip #12) Funnel Cake Factory. The Sox don’t say as much on their website, but you can get a fine funnel cake or less messy funnel fries, with toppings if you so desire, on the lower level concourse. Or the classic ballpark corndog.

If you’re really into testing your scale you can get a “Bases Loaded Sundae” at the ballpark. It’s a funnel cake with three scoops of soft serve, chocolate syrup and nuts. Now that’s major league baseball food.


guaranteed rate field food chicago style hot dogs

Just remember, when all else fails, Comiskey dogs.

There you go my friends…that should be more than enough to help you eat well at the home of the White Sox on game day. Remember that these are mainstay items; if you’re looking for something fancy, try the club sections or one of the new breweries like the Blue Moon Balcony. (For what you’re paying at a ballpark, you might as well go for craft beers.)

Check out more New Comiskey Park (I really dislike the current name of this place) tips here. Oh, and if you’re in Chicago for a baseball trip, don’t forget to read my complete guide to the home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field!

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Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tips | Chicago White Sox

Posted by Kurt Smith

Planning to go to a Chicago White Sox baseball game? Here are my best Guaranteed Rate Field parking tips – including alternate routes, tavern shuttles, and of course, money saving advice!

Guaranteed Rate Field, unlike its neighbor Wrigley Field to the north, offers ample enough parking that getting there by car is generally easy enough, and in some cases preferable to getting there by CTA train or other means. (You can read all about that here.)

I’ve covered a lot here, so I’m breaking it down for you:

Alternate Routes to Guaranteed Rate Field
Chicago White Sox Parking Lots
Chicago White Sox Tailgating
Other Parking Lots + Street Parking
White Sox Tavern Shuttles


guaranteed rate field parking tips chicago white sox

I know, there are so many. Not to worry, I’ll help you pick a spot!

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alternate routes to white sox guaranteed rate field

Visualize yourself using the right exit!

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #1: Alternate Routes to White Sox Games. Guaranteed Rate is located at Exit 55 (35th Street exit) off Interstate 90/94, also called the Dan Ryan Expressway. It is visible from the highway, and the parking lots at the ballpark are right there after exiting.

The Dan Ryan was once ranked by a heavy traffic research company as the second worst bottleneck of traffic in America. But the positive of such problems is that generous and busy Internet users post alternate routes, which can still be used today for high attendance games.

I haven’t tried these routes myself, but they might be worth a look if you don’t want to get caught up in the herd:


I-57 to white sox game alternate route

If you end up in Indiana, you’ve gone too far.

Going north on I-57 from the south: Exit at Halstead Street just before the merge with I-90/94. Turn left to go north on Halstead, then turn left on 95th St. (U.S. Route 12/20) and then right on Ashland Avenue. Follow Ashland all the way to 35th St., and then turn right towards the ballpark.

Going north on I-90/94 from south of the city: Instead of using exit 55A onto South LaSalle St., use exit 55B to S. LaSalle, and then make a left onto Pershing Road. From there you can make a right onto South Princeton Avenue towards the ballpark.

This route backwards, incidentally, can make for an easier exit. (I mean following the steps in reverse, not actually driving backwards.)


Alternate routes to chicago white sox games

They put a ramp there for you and everything. Chicago’s got your back!

Coming from the south using I-90 or I-94: Use the Stony Island Avenue exit (it’s closer to the park from I-90). Go north on Stony Island Avenue, following the signs to Lake Shore Drive (Stony Island turns into South Cornell Avenue and East 57th Street).

Head north on Lake Shore Drive (U.S. Route 41) to 31st Street, and make a left and head west on 31st. After passing under I-90/94, turn left on Wentworth and head south on Wentworth till you get to the ballpark.


alternate routes to guaranteed rate field events

Follow the smart people to the White Sox game!

Coming from southwest on I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) North: Use the South Ashland Avenue exit and make a right onto S. Ashland. Take S. Ashland to 35th St. and turn left towards the ballpark.

Coming from the west on I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway): Use the Ashland Avenue exit; head south on Ashland and make a left on 35th.


how to get to guaranteed rate field from O'Hare Airport

OK so the signs need some straightening, but you get the idea.

From the northwest/O’Hare: Use I-90 and merge with I-90/94 east, use the Roosevelt Road exit, and head west on Roosevelt to Halstead. Make a left on Halstead and head south until reaching 35th St. Turn left on 35th towards the ballpark.

Again, I would only use these if the I-90/94 Dan Ryan traffic is particularly bad. The Dan Ryan is supposedly much better since the construction period. In many cases, you can just use Halstead St. or Ashland Avenue if you’re looking for a back road.


illinois tollbooth

If you’re from metropolitan Chicago, you know.

One more thing about driving to Guaranteed Rate Field: coming from outside metropolitan Chicago, be sure to have an EZPass or IPass. Illinois rivals New Jersey in toll roads (and that’s saying something). If you don’t have a toll pass, just go to the Illinois Tollway website and look up your license plate.

chicago white sox official parking tips

Get a view of the city, and keep an eye on your car!

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #2: White Sox Parking. The White Sox have a large amount of available parking in their official lots close to the ballpark, approximately 7,000 parking spaces. It’s usually enough, especially since plenty of fans use public transportation to go to games. You can view their parking info here.

As of 2023, the parking price is $27 when pre-paid, and $30 at the gate; for Sunday games that drops to $17 and $20 respectively. All of the Sox lots cost the same, so no need to waste time circling the park. The Sox sell their advance parking through ParkWhiz, and there’s a fee included, so there isn’t any savings buying in advance, but you’ll have a better spot.

Season ticket and multi-game plan members can buy their parking in advance at a cheaper price (about $5 less a game), and you might find a cheaper pass on eBay. The coupons require parking in a certain lot, so you can check the Sox website if you land one to see where to use it.


guaranteed rate field white sox parking

They don’t take cash anymore, but that’s not why I haven’t gone to a game since.

The signs directing drivers to the parking areas are color-coded for pre-paid coupons. The pre-paid red lots A, B, and C are north of the ballpark and are far more accessible to and from the Interstate; green lots F and L are west and south of the ballpark take longer to exit. You should probably get a pre-paid pass, just to be in a better spot.

If you haven’t bought a parking pass, keep in mind you’ll be parking in Lots F or L south of the ballpark, so plan your entrance accordingly. Also, don’t bother with cash…it’s credit cards or debit parking only on the day of game nowadays. I’ve read they’ll take cash, but the attendants won’t be happy about it.

The Sox open their lots two hours before first pitch on game days. If you’re early enough you don’t need to worry about pre-purchasing a spot, except for Opening Day or a Cubs game, but it’s only a buck or two more to do it.

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white sox overflow parking game days IIT

The Green Line station offers a fine view of additional parking.

If parking does fill up, which is rare, the Sox will provide shuttle service from The McCormick Place Garage C (29th Street and Fort Dearborn Drive), and at IIT east of the ballpark.

Lot A is now designated for rideshare service and bus parking; it stays open an hour after the game ends.

If you break down in the lot after the game, you can go to a Guest Relations booth or find a parking lot supervisor, and they’ll usually arrange for towing your car if needed.

Finally, if the game is postponed, you can use the parking coupon for a future game. Details on the back of the coupon.


chicago white sox parking tips

The parking lot is even closer than the train station!

Honestly, even though it’s pricey by major league baseball standards, my best advice for White Sox game parking is to buy a pre-paid pass and park in one of the official lots. Arrive early if you can to avoid the bottlenecks. If you want to save money and are including a meal with your game, try one of the tavern shuttles below.

And of course, remember you can book your parking anywhere in Chicago in advance with the pros at SpotHero.

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chicago white sox tailgating guaranteed rate field parking

“And at game time, the score is still zed-zed!”

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #3: White Sox Tailgating. The Sox encourage tailgating, even to the point of offering picnic tables and space for private tailgating parties. Should you gather a group for a party, the Sox give discounts for tickets and will even throw in some parking passes. No kegs, large grills, DJs, or loud music unfortunately. Remember to park your bus in Lot A.

The tailgating scene at the South Side is popular in White Sox fandom. It’s not quite at the level of American Family Field 90 miles north in Milwaukee, but often there will be bands playing, bag-throwing games or folks giving out freebies. Tailgating stops when the game starts and is not allowed after the game—and nor is bringing alcohol outside of the lot.


white sox tailgating party

Featuring ivy on the fence for that Chicago baseball experience!

There are restrooms near the main entrance of the park or in the ChiSox Bar & Grill restaurant that you can use, and there are receptacles in most lots to dump your hot coals.

If you’d like to reserve a tailgating spot from the White Sox for your baseball party, you can do that here. The nice part of that is that you can show up three hours before game time instead of two, so no need to slam those beers down on the clock.

Since the Sox reserve tailgating spaces in Lots B and E, that’s the place to wander around if you want to have a brew and sausage with tailgating Sox faithful.


guaranteed rate field parking satellite

And if you’re a VIP, we won’t park you in!

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #4: Street Parking and Other Lots. You won’t have an easy time finding nearby street parking at the ballpark. Since the neighborhood has been condo-fied, street ordinances have been put in place to protect the locals’ parking spots. Parking without a residential parking permit in the wrong spot will get you a very stiff fine and a towing.

West of the park in the Halstead St. area are meters that only need to be fed until 6:00 PM, but you could have some difficulty finding these, and unless you live in the area, you may not be comfortable leaving your car there.


35th street red hots white sox parking

I had a very nice conversation with this lovely lady. Chicago folks are really cool.

Some residents and businesses west of the park on 35th, like the 35th Street Red Hots people, will sell you their parking spots, but you probably won’t find any real bargains—the main attraction is the easy exit after the game, so they claim. Not sure how, since you’re further from the interstate, but maybe it’s because it takes a while to empty those large White Sox lots.


white sox parking grandstand sports 35th street

What better way to sell White Sox gear than to offer game day parking?

The Grandstand store west of the ballpark on 35th has a lot across the street, and you’re close to a great Chicago sports team store with cool gear there if that interests you. I’m guessing stuff there is cheaper than at the ballpark.

I’ve read in forums that you can park for free on side streets off of 35th; just east of the Dan Ryan near IIT and the Green Line stop. That is where the neighborhood has reportedly improved, but it’s the south side of Chicago, so that one is up to you.


chicago white sox game parking chinatown

With the new pitch clock, you can make it back in three hours!

Try Chinatown… There is a parking lot near the Cermak-Chinatown Station of the CTA Red Line north of the park; parking there for ten hours is cheaper than at the ballpark and it’s a one-stop trip on the Red Line (it’s a long walk, about 15 blocks, I wouldn’t do it at night).

On weekdays you might be able to find cheap metered parking in the area, and even with the extra few bucks for the Red Line, it’s still a good deal.

There is even some free street parking in Chinatown (I’ve seen cars parked on Wentworth Street), if you have time to look around near the station a bit and get lucky. But if you see a sign that says “Don’t Park Here”, obey it.


chinatown chicago guaranteed rate field parking

Dumplings make great ballpark food.

There are also many places where you can grab a bite or fill up your goody bag in Chinatown; remember you can bring your own food into the ballpark.

For that matter, you could book a cheaper spot anywhere near the Red Line or Green Line if you’re comfortable with an area in Chicago, or want to be somewhere in the city after the game. Both lines have a station near the ballpark.


buffalo wings and rings white sox shuttle

Wings, beer, a free ride and a free shuttle to the White Sox game…and they even sponsor this comfortable Chicago street bench!

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Tip #5: White Sox Game Shuttles. So, where do you go if you don’t want to pay the parking fees? There are actually dining establishments in the area that will take you to the park:


buffalo wings and rings white sox shuttle bus

The shuttle bus beats walking!

Buffalo Wings and Rings on South Halstead St. west of the park runs a shuttle an hour before the game and will pick you up for 30 minutes after the game. They have free valet parking and parking in the back if there is space available, and there is also metered parking nearby on Halstead.

It’s ideal if you love beer and wings. Wings come in a large variety of flavors, including sweet Thai chili, lemon pepper, and (I’m not making this up) blueberry chipotle BBQ. Blueberry chipotle BBQ wings, beer and free parking…what could go better with White Sox baseball!


connies pizza white sox shuttle

You can even help them deliver a few pizzas on the way.

Connie’s Pizza The Bridgeport location of Connie’s Pizza offers free parking in their lot, and if you dine in their restaurant, they’ll give you a ride in their free shuttle bus. The bus runs for an hour before and after games.

Their pizza is no slouch of course…as I write this, it’s #322 of 10,820 Chicago restaurants on TripAdvisor, putting Connie’s in the something percentile which is pretty good in this town. It’s true deep dish pizza, and combined with a White Sox game is a full Chicago experience.

Connie’s also offers game day specials, so enjoy a beer or two before the game, especially since you won’t have to drive.


ricobene's white sox shuttle

With helpful instructions right there on the sign!

Note: I contacted the Ricobene’s folks and they’re not offering shuttle service to White Sox games at the moment. Nuts. But I’m leaving this here in case things change. You can tell them I sent you!

Ricobene’s The Ricobene’s restaurant on West 26th St. has a free shuttle to Sox games for patrons; they draw pretty good crowds on Sox game nights not just for the shuttle but for the food; the hefty breaded steak sandwich and pizzas are especially popular. Check out the Yelp reviews…this place is revered.

Ricobene’s has ample parking with a lot under I-90 and there’s some street parking nearby, and reportedly they’re very good about accommodating anyone who needs a lift to the game, even for leaving the game early.


reggies rock bus chicago white sox

You can’t not want to ride in the Reggies Rock Bus. (photo courtesy of Reggies Live)

Reggies Live on South State St. is a good hike away from the park but will take patrons to and from Sox games on their own very cool-looking “Reggies Rock Bus”. It’s just a block away from the Chinatown station on the Red Line or the Cermak-McCormick Place station on the Green Line. You can use those if you don’t want to wait or if you miss the bus after the game.

There is some metered parking on State St., but it is difficult to find, and there is a cover to get in, so this is best for folks interested in a show or a party after the game. That said, lots of folks will tell you Reggies is worth it.

Reggie’s occasionally even throws in a package that includes free bleacher ticket to the game and a BBQ with the ride, so it can make for a pretty cool and economical Chicago evening. You can hang out in the music club or on a rooftop deck (there’s even a retro record store), and the wings here are mighty popular.

A meal and a ride to the ballgame is great, but these things tend to be shaky…I would check with any of these establishments before making them part of your game plan, even though I’m sharing these four because they seem to be consistent.


Chicago white sox parking tips guaranteed rate field

“And then when the game’s over, we’ll be the first ones out! We’re Griswolds!”

There you go my friends, all of my best tips for Chicago White Sox game parking. Hope you found it useful…stay tuned, I’ll soon be offering other ways to get to games at the new Comiskey Park.

Thanks for reading, and if you need more Guaranteed Rate Field game tips, click here! Check out this great post for choosing a seat, and see some great food options here.

(And click here for some great tips for Chicago Cubs home games!)

(Note: this article contains affiliate links. If you use an affiliate link to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips | Chicago White Sox

Posted by Kurt Smith

Going to a White Sox game? Below is your complete Guaranteed Rate Field seating guide, where I share everything you need to know to choose a great seat for your taste and budget at the home of the Chicago White Sox. Stick with me, kid…I’ll help you get the most of your visit.

There’s a lot to cover here, so I’m breaking it down by section and price level.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Guide Contents

Guaranteed Rate Field Layout
Wintrust Scout Seats
Premium Seating – Diamond Suites, Other Suites and Guaranteed Rate Club
Club Level Seating
Lower Level Seating
Outfield Seats and Bleachers (+ Obstructed Views)
Upper Level Seating (+ More Obstructed Views)
Group and Party Areas
Standing Room

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guaranteed rate field seating chart

I took this pic in 2015, but the ballpark’s shape is the same.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 1) Ballpark Layout. The layout of Guaranteed Rate Field is simple enough, especially with its (now unusual) symmetry. Here is the Guaranteed Rate Field seating chart from the White Sox website.

The lower deck seats are on the 100 level, and the upper deck is the 500 level. The luxury seating levels and suites are the 200, 300, and 400 level sections, between the upper and lower decks.


chicago white sox seating chart

Do not purchase tickets in Section 532…you will find yourself in the Invalid Ticket Vortex!

The upper deck section numbering is a bit weird. Every so often it skips a number in the sections, so there’s no Section 532, for example. This was done to even it up with the lower sections, which were cut in half to reduce butts (or worse) in seated people’s faces and thus cover smaller space per section.

If you’re concerned about shade on a hot day (or a cold one…it is Chicago), the sun shines brightest and latest on the left field bleachers, as opposed to the right field seating in most ballparks.

Facing the field, Seat 1 in any section is always closest to home plate. Guaranteed Rate Field’s seating capacity is 40,615.

Here’s the lowdown on the seating sections, starting with the most expensive:


chicago white sox premium seating scout seats

Nothing says “you’ve made it” like cushioned seats and cup holders at the ballgame.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 2) Wintrust Scout Seats. The Wintrust Scout Seats are the best seats at Guaranteed Rate Field, for many reasons, and are priced as such. These are padded and wide leather seats directly behind home plate, and they include waitresses bringing you food items from a small menu. If you’re willing to get up, you may help yourself to more lavish buffet and open bar. There’s even a little desk on the side of the seat in case you need to work on that proposal at the game.

The Scout Seats have their own private entrance, a nice thing here. The buffet includes all of those high-quality food items from Levy Restaurants…carved meats, gourmet desserts, all the high end food items that baseball is all about.


wintrust scout seats best seats at guaranteed rate field

Just a small fence separating the well-to-do from the riffraff!

For the price, though, most times you can just get a Platinum Box seat and buy enough food to split your pants with the money left over. But there’s probably something to be said for a cushioned seat with a great view and access to a climate controlled lounge.

If you want to score Scout Seats for a lesser demand game, try the Gametime or third party route and wait until game time draws closer. Chances are you’ll pay less than face price on a slow night (and the Sox have a lot of those), and face value is pretty darn high for these.

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Chicago white sox premium seating guaranteed rate field

Be sure to ask about our climate-controlled buffet!

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 3) Premium Seating. One thing White Sox ownership got out of their new Comiskey Park is plenty of luxury suites and seating, as anyone can see looking at the mezzanine levels of the ballpark.

Still, there are lots of seats that aren’t out of the price range of the everyday fan. Most Club level seats, for example, are available at the same pricing levels as other seats. You can get them for a lower price when the Sox aren’t playing a popular opponent, in which case the cost isn’t bad at all.

If you’re going to a game in April or May, you may be glad you got a premium seat and access to a climate controlled concourse. Chicago is not baseball friendly in early spring.


diamond suites guaranteed rate field

The real bonus is that if no one in your group cares about the actual game, there’s plenty of empty seats!

White Sox Premium Seating: Diamond Suites. The Diamond Suites surrounding the ballpark hold 20 to 60 people, and include their own bar, comfortable seating, in-seat wait service, a private entrance with an elevator, and premium parking. Diamond Suites are at the highest part of the Club Level (400), so the view isn’t as great as you might think it should be for the price.

Like with most premium seating, there is a basic food menu that includes wings, roast beef and turkey sandwiches with the hot dogs, peanuts and beer; you can upgrade the food or the bar and have baby back ribs and Tanqueray, etc. for an additional fee. Suites have private restrooms, a benefit not truly appreciated until you’re sharing with a bunch of others after a game.

Most of the Diamond Suites are reserved for full or partial season packages to corporate types, but they occasionally are available for individual games. In 2017 the Sox added a suite on the field level behind home plate called Suite 134; good for 25 fans who have the considerable means (somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 a ticket).


guaranteed rate field seating tips club seating

The naming rights change frequently, but the amenities and views remain constant.

White Sox Premium Seating: Guaranteed Rate Club. The Guaranteed Rate Club (formerly the Home Plate Club and Gold Coast Tickets Club) is the outdoor but covered section of seats behind home plate on the 200 level. There are just four rows of seats here, which is nice. The seats are padded and wide like the Scout Seats, with a nice bird’s eye view of the field. You can only access this level by a private elevator.

Fans (or their rich uncles) can access the private lounge with a view of the field and its high class buffet and open bar, even after the game. The prices for drinks go up after the game, reportedly. Season ticket holders get free parking in Lot D next to the ballpark, no small thing.

They even supply a concierge, in case you need to have a pizza delivered.


guaranteed rate field seating guide terrace suite

Because you belong above it all!

White Sox Premium Seating: Terrace Suites. The Terrace Suites are located down near the left field foul pole at the top of the club level. These are for group outings and can hold up to 400 people. Not the best view from here, the suites and clubs behind home plate might be better if your group cares. But you do get the full bar, and with a climate controlled area the price isn’t terrible at all.

The Upper Terrace does feature a nice view of the city of Chicago, but you can get that on the upper concourse.


chicago white sox seating guide all star suite

Okay, so maybe you can’t put your feet up. But the view is almost as good here.

White Sox Premium Seating: All-Star Suite. The 22-person All-Star Suite is located at Section 439 on the third base side. It appears to be similar to a Diamond Suite, although the White Sox tout its new furniture and refurbished private area. Not sure exactly what the improvement is, unless you’re looking to sit over the home team dugout. It is reasonable as suites go.

Like with the other suites, you can get a food upgrade with fancier items than the chicken wings and sandwiches usually served, and the bar is upgrade-able too. It also includes four parking passes.

Okay, whew! Now about the seating for us actual baseball fans


guaranteed rate field seating club seats

Fewer rows and steps to reduce your nachos spilling risk.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 4) Club Level. The Club area, in the middle (300) tier of the mezzanine level between the bases, features outside seats in front of the climate-controlled lounge area, with a full bar and a premium menu with fancy extras.

If you plan to eat in the Club concourse, you should order as soon as possible, because it does tend to get crowded. The food isn’t complimentary here, but there is a better selection of it than in the lower or upper concourses.

Tickets for this level are reasonable by club seat standards in baseball. The Club sections increase in price as they get closer to home plate, costing almost double the price behind home as they do closer to the foul lines. The Premium Club seats do sport a much better view; and the White Sox ballpark is one place where that is worth springing for. You might find a good deal on Gametime.

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guaranteed rate field seating tips lower level

You could just sit lower than all of those premium seating types. Works just fine.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 5) Lower Level. The lower level at Guaranteed Rate in foul territory consists of the aforementioned Scout Seats, Gold and Silver Box, Premium Lower Box, and Lower Reserved. In that order.

The White Sox now rate types of seats by rows, so Rows 26 and higher of Sections 119 and 120 are cheaper than the rows in front of them, for example. In Section 111 there are three different price levels. So presumably, you can save a few bucks in the front row of a “tier”. When you’re buying tickets through the Sox, check the price of the different rows. No point in paying more for Row 14 when Row 15 is just two more feet away from the field.

Since the ballpark is symmetrical, there isn’t much difference whether you’re on the first or third base side, except for the fact that the sun sets behind the first base side and third base is in the shade last. The White Sox also adjusted the seats in the outer Lower Box sections to face closer to the home plate, making for a better viewing angle.


chicago white sox seating guide lower level

You can tell people to just go around to the other side now!

One very nice thing in the lower level is that sections have fewer seats in each row (usually eight) than in most ballparks, so you won’t have as much of a problem of folks getting up in front of you.

Remember that lower level seating obviously includes access to the lower concourse, and the rest of the ballpark for that matter, something upper level seats do not include. More on that in a bit.

There are usually 30-35 rows in lower level sections, and the upper deck overhang covers the seats from about Row 26 up, so don’t expect much protection from the sun especially for day games.


chicago white sox seating outfield

Proximity to a bullpen allows for fun encouragement for pitchers.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 6) Outfield Seats + Bleachers. The Lower Reserved seats in the outfield are in left field near the foul pole and in all of right field. These are actual seats as opposed to the bleacher-style benches in left center, which are cheaper. Surprisingly, bleacher seats are often more expensive than most of the seating in the upper level.

The bleachers in left center field are bench-style seats, but they have backs on them with numbers, so you still have an assigned seat as opposed to most ballpark bleachers. You still might have to share with a neighbor’s cheek a little bit, but at least they are easier on your back.


guaranteed rate field cheap seats bleachers

Lots of sun-baked metal, but in April in Chicago that might not be a bad thing.

Remember that the sun sets behind first base and it can be particularly blinding and hot in the left field seats. (Incidentally that’s why they call them “bleachers”, since they get bleached by the sun.) I highly recommend sunscreen and sunglasses sitting here.

The visiting team’s bullpen is in right field, all the better for heckling. If you get seats in front of either bullpen, the row numbers start with 8 in left and 9 in right. The bleachers in left are a good spot to catch batting practice home runs.


avoid obstructed views guaranteed rate field

If your girlfriend has a crush on a right fielder, maybe this isn’t a bad thing.

Obstructed View Alert #1: In the small section to the right of the batter’s eye is Section 100, which, along with the benches in Section 164 on the left field side, may have an obstructed view with the batter’s eye blocking a portion of the opposite field. It can also affect Sections 101 and 163 if you’re sitting high enough. With White Sox attendance you probably won’t have to deal with this, but just saying.

Be sure to get a low row if you get seats in these sections, from high up a good portion of the opposite field could be blocked from view, and you won’t like that. (The Sox will alert you about this before you buy the ticket, but I’m not sure that third party sellers will.)


chicago white sox outfield seats

It’s kind of like Eutaw Street in Baltimore, except without the warehouse, BBQ stand, restaurant…okay maybe it’s not.

The outfield seats have a nice and wide concourse area to roam around in, and they’re also close to the ballpark’s extra amenities, like the kids’ play area, the Plumbing Council shower, and the Craft Lodge in right field. They’re not the best or cheapest outfield seats in major league baseball, but they do have some things going for them.

By the way, this isn’t Wrigley Field—if you catch a home run here, you can be ejected for throwing it back on the field.


guaranteed rate field seating guide upper deck seats

If you can handle the vertigo, these seats are a bargain.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 7) Upper Level. The upper deck seats at Guaranteed Rate are better than they once were. Before the top eight rows were eliminated, the height and angle of upper level seats could be terrifying. Much was made of how the first row of seats in the upper level are further from home plate than the last rows at the old Comiskey.

Fortunately, the situation has improved. You can only go so high now, and while the angle is still dizzyingly steep, now it’s just “unnerving”. There is a flat iron roof covering the top two-thirds of the highest seats. There are 21 rows of seats in most upper level sections; like in the lower level, the lower rows are more expensive.

The Upper Corner sections are now the cheapest tickets in Guaranteed Rate Field (and most of baseball, for that matter). There’s a good reason for it though, as a Chicago native friend put it to me: “The Waveland rooftops are closer!”

For what it’s worth though, the upper concourse here is one of the nicer ones in baseball; it’s got murals of White Sox greatness and is covered with panels that let the sun in but not the rain. There is a decent food and drink selection too.


avoid obstructed views at guaranteed rate field Chicago White Sox

OK, but do you really need to see home plate?

Obstructed View Alert #2: There are support poles holding up the new roof on this level; from Row 17 up at this level you could have a pole blocking a good portion of your view. Behind home plate and in the outfield it’s not much of a problem, but down the lines it can be annoying. Again, you probably won’t likely have to deal with it given current White Sox attendance numbers, but just so you know.

Remember, Seat 1 in any section is closest to home plate. So in the high rows down either line, seats 1-5 are likely to be the most problematic with the views. I would go for outfield seats rather than the sections down the line given the choice.


chicago white sox 500 level restricted

This kind of sucks, so you should be aware of it before you go.

Pay attention, this is important: Upper deck ticket holders are not allowed in the lower level concourse, and the Sox enforce this–a matter of great irritation to some fans. So upper deck seats preclude shopping at the best gift shop, enjoying the more interesting food offerings, seeking autographs, and a number of photo-ops like posing with player statues.

So if you want the entire Guaranteed Rate Field experience, avoid upper level tickets, or use your Ballpark app to get an upgrade. Remember you can’t do standing room in the closed upper concourse here either.

If you want to be a cheapskate…and upper level tickets can be super cheap…you can get someone with a lower level ticket to give you a copy of their ticket, which you can then show to ushers, although you then risk using the wrong ticket to get in and a well deserved whupping. Or you can nicely complain to an usher or Guest Services and tell them you’re a tourist. They may let you down in later innings.

Heading up to the top level on the outside ramps does give one a striking view of the south side of Chicago, so you’re not missing everything. There’s a nice view at the top of the stands too, although it does get windy.


guaranteed rate field seating party areas

When the beer is complimentary, upper outfield seats are A-OK.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 8) Group and Party Areas. Finally, the recent renovation created some sparkling new party areas at Guaranteed Rate Field, for those looking to entertain at a reasonable price:


guaranteed rate field seating miller lite landing

They’ve upgraded this, but this is the general gist of it.

White Sox Party Areas: Miller Lite Landing. The Miller Lite Landing (formerly the Goose Island) is the outfield lounge and seating area at the foul pole in right field. The seating area includes cushioned seats, food and drinks, and drink rails which are always useful. The back rows are standing room, but still include the counters to lean on. The landing is in front of a bar with Miller products.

The lower rows of the Miller Lite Landing feature large and comfortable leather chairs, TVs since you’re pretty far from the action, charging ports, cup holders, and an extra $20 of concessions value in your ticket. All of the rows except for standing room include wait staff.

The lower seating area is at field level and you can watch the game through the fence, while sitting next to the visitors’ bullpen presumably to give opposing pitchers a hard time. Watching a game through a fence isn’t fun though, so I would go for higher row seats here.

Under the landing seats is the Leinenkugel’s Craft Lodge, where you can duck out of the elements and try any number of great craft brews…and since you’re paying what you’re paying for beer at the ballgame, you might as well drink something good.


guaranteed rate field party areas cibc fan deck

Note that these tables in particular do not offer an optimal view.

White Sox Party Areas: CIBC Fan Deck. The CIBC Fan Deck is the two-tiered patio in center field, which is available for group outings of up to 150, at about $100 a person. The plan includes the barstool seating with drink rails and picnic tables in front of the scoreboard, and a low-level pregame buffet of normal ballpark fare; beer is included which is certainly worth a few bucks. Service starts when the park opens and ends as the game starts.

The Fan Deck is good fun for parties, but they definitely aren’t the best seats in the ballpark, being in straightaway center and elevated. The back rows especially lose quite a bit of the field, and the seating as it slopes off to the side isn’t good at all. You also can’t see much of the game when you are partaking of the burgers and bratwurst, obviously.

It also gets windy up there, so the Fan Deck might be better for hot summer days, so long as you have sunscreen.


chicago white sox group party areas patio

Not a great view. I will say the buffet is impressive though.

White Sox Party Areas: Party Patio. Underneath the stands on the other side of the visiting team’s bullpen in right center field is the Party Patio; this is available for pregame and during-game parties of as many as 1,300 fans (the overwhelming majority of which will not be able to see the game until they head to their seats). In addition to a buffet of fried chicken, dogs and burgers (and beer), fans are treated to a great view of batting practice.

Seeing the game itself from the warning track area costs extra (you need a game ticket to attend the Party anyway), and they’ll kick you out if you haven’t paid for it. Honestly you’re not missing much; it’s a field level view behind a fence, and you can’t see any of the scoreboards–not worth wait staff in my humble opinion.

You can sometimes get a pass for the Party Patio from eBay or third party sellers. Or sign up for the White Sox newsletter; they will offer decent deals on a Patio pass that would be well worth the money at ballpark prices.


white sox ballpark pass

Currently, the answer is “no”.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, Part 9) Standing Room. The White Sox make standing room tickets available for big games like Opening Day and Cubs games, but since they don’t sell out a lot, standing room tickets aren’t offered too often. The White Sox did offer a FanPass with standing room access for a month’s worth of games in the past, but as of 2023 they’re not doing this.

Should the Sox be playing in the World Series or something and you find SRO tickets, there’s plenty of space in the large outfield concourse to stand and watch the game. The lower level concourse is open, so you could watch the action from there, but with the overhang of the upper level you won’t have much of a view of the scoreboard.

Lots of people roam around the ballpark through the game, so you might be able to find a seat no one is using somewhere in the outfield or the corners.


guaranteed rate field seating tips chicago white sox

Now you can choose which one of these is right for you!

There you are my friend, your comprehensive guide to the seating at the home of the White Sox. I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and found it helpful…be sure to check out more Guaranteed Rate Field tips here, including how to choose a great parking spot and what to eat at a White Sox game.

And if you’re visiting Chicago for a baseball trip, be sure to carefully read my Wrigley Field Guide!

Thanks for reading and supporting our sponsors, and feel free to drop me a line with any questions!

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3 Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants | Chicago White Sox

Posted by Kurt Smith

Since the home of the White Sox is surrounded mostly by parking lots, the nearby scene is known far more for above average tailgating than a slew of eateries. (There are a few decent watering holes nearby though, contrary to popular myth.) That said, there are several Guaranteed Rate Field restaurants – as in attached to or inside the ballpark. Here are three worth noting:


guaranteed rate field restaurants chisox bar and grill

“Wait! I’ve just realized we can see the game live right next door!”

Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants, #1) The ChiSox Bar & Grill. The nice thing about the ChiSox Bar & Grill attached to the ballpark is being able to enjoy a meal before or after the game, without having to move your car.

The ChiSox draws a good crowd and the bar on the lower level gets pretty crowded. The food is popular among fans: burgers, tacos, sandwiches and appetizers like jalapeno cheddar hush puppies and pork nachos…and of course, wash it down with Big Hurt Beer. The ChiSox has appetizer specials on game days.

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guaranteed rate field restaurants craft kave

This is about as good a spot for outdoor dining as you’ll find in Chicago.

Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants, #2) The Craft Kave. The White Sox turned the Miller Lite Bullpen Sports Bar into the much more tasteful Craft Kave…it’s actually a party area with seating in right field and a full bar underneath.

It used to be for groups, but you can now enter the Craft Kave and not only choose from over 70 Chicago area craft brews, but also some truly incredible craft burgers like the “Veeck as in Wreck” burger with two patties and onion rings piled on, or the “Wild Pitch” with mushrooms and Swiss. There’s even a White Sox staffer that helps you choose the perfect brew to go with your burgers. Amazeballs.

guaranteed rate field restaurants xfinity zone

Be sure to have someone on lookout for people trying to snag your seats.

Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants, #3) Xfinity Zone. The Xfinity Zone in the lower right field concourse is a great spot for a sit down meal. There’s no view of the game, but there are plenty of TVs and you’re bound to be pretty close to one.

The menu includes superlative deli-style sandwiches such as the Ultimate Turkey Club and the Supreme Corned Beef, along with dogs, sausages and fried pickles and such. There’s a full bar with mixed drinks and domestic or craft brews.


There’s much more food at Guaranteed Rate Field to choose from…like the Comiskey Dogs and elotes, but this should help you choose a sit down spot in the absence of a nearby restaurant.

Want some more tips for your next White Sox game? Click here for useful Guaranteed Rate Field advice, and don’t forget to Follow Ballpark E-Guides on Facebook for useful knowledge at your favorite ballpark!

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Cheap White Sox Tickets – 3 Useful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

When the Pale Hose struggle at the gate, there are numerous ways to find yourself some cheap White Sox tickets. Here are a few of my favorite tips.


cheap white sox tickets team alerts

They’re very nice people here, but check your inbox first.

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Tip #1) Get Team Ticket Alerts. I recommend this for every team, but the White Sox in particular offer very nice deals to their e-mail subscribers: monthly ballpark passes, flash sales of 200 or so tickets at a very nice price, and a “Sox Save of The Week”. No need to pay face price, especially when you can be flexible about when you go. Click here to sign up…

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cheap white sox tickets box office

“I don’t know about the window with no line. What if it’s for farm vehicles?”

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Tip #2) Use The Box Office. Except for Opening Day and Cubs games, most White Sox games don’t sell out, and there’s no online fee for buying tickets at the box office. If you’re buying multiple tickets especially, the online fees add up, and they’re not necessary. Just go on game day and get tickets there.


cheap white sox tickets community

You don’t have to work quite so hard to get in the ballpark.

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Tip #3) Donate Blood Or Something. The White Sox hold community events and they offer free or discounted tickets to charitable groups…more so than most teams. Check the community and group tickets section of their website, because you may find a great deal for philanthropic sorts.

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Cheap White Sox Tickets, Bonus Tip!) Try Gametime! My friends at Gametime usually have among the best deals on White Sox tickets, and I’m not just saying that because they’re an affiliate of mine. Click here to check out their inventory of White Sox tickets…but remember that you can’t print them now.

There’s three ways to save money on White Sox tickets, but there’s plenty more deals out there…stay tuned. If you’d like to know some things about seating here, check this out.

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5 Guaranteed Rate Field Tips For Newbies | Chicago White Sox

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re going to see the White Sox for the first time, I’ve put together some of my favorite Guaranteed Rate Field tips for you below. It may not present the same challenges as Wrigley Field on the north side, but to some, that’s what makes Guaranteed Rate Field a fun place.

Here are some tips you should know for your first trip.

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visiting guaranteed rate field ticket window

Hmmm…which window has that “generous” guy?

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #1: Get tickets from the box office. That is, unless you can find a crazy great deal from a third party seller; but the White Sox don’t sell out most games and they don’t charge fees at the box office. You can save quite a few bucks this way, especially buying multiple tickets.

The only exceptions to this rule are Cubs games and perhaps Yankees and Red Sox games on July/August weekends.

Guaranteed Rate Field seating 500 level

You didn’t check your E-Guide?

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #2: Avoid the upper (500) level seats! Yes, they’re cheap and yes they offer a nice panoramic view. They’re also restricted; fans with upper level tickets are not allowed to access other levels of the ballpark.

This can be a real downer for a traveling fan who likes to walk around an entire ballpark to see what food offerings and statues are there, and that’s most of us. 500 level seats are for people looking for a White Sox game on the cheap, not first time visitors. If you want to go cheap, go for the outfield corners.

visiting guaranteed rate field parking

Nothing but old lots that don’t take coupons to the right.

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #3: Drive only on Sundays. The CTA Red and Green Lines both serve Guaranteed Rate Field well, as does Metra Rail. All three have stations close enough to the ballpark that it’s in view from the station platform.

You can drive to the game if you want to be a part of a tailgating scene that is certainly respectable, but it’s a fairly high parking cost. Parking is much cheaper on Sundays, though, so save the brats and grill for the Sunday afternoon games and use CTA or Metra (or the Pace Express!) for the rest of them.

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Guaranteed Rate Field food comiskey dogs

Chicago dogs in Chicago. When common sense just works.

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #4: Have a Comiskey Dog. Or Burger. The Comiskey dogs are the Chicago-style dogs at the ballpark; it’s a dog the way it’s meant to be in Chicago, with yellow mustard, chopped onions, neon green relish, pickle spear, tomato chunks, sport peppers and celery salt. Or get the Comiskey Burger…with cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and other Chicago Dog ingredients.

There’s other great food here like Bobak’s sausages and elotes, but the Comiskey dogs and burgers are the true taste of Chicago.


visiting guaranteed rate field with the kids

The short porch will jack up your kid’s power numbers.

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #5: Bring the kids. Guaranteed Rate has one thing on its neighbor in Wrigleyville; it’s much more kid-friendly. Not only is it a whole lot cheaper to bring the little ones to a game, there’s a terrific Xfinity Kids Zone in left field, with interactive games and a wiffle ball field on the upper level.

And not to be derisive of the smaller crowds the Sox are drawing, but it is a bit less worrisome with little ones to not be in a concourse jammed with people as Wrigley so frequently is. Wait until the kids are a little older for the Friendly Confines…for now take them to a game on the South Side.

There you go…some first time tips for visiting Guaranteed Rate Field. There’s a whole lot more to know of course…I’ve offered plenty of Guaranteed Rate Field advice on this blog, including how to choose a great seat, land a solid parking spot, and choose what to eat at a White Sox game.

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3 Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

Hopefully this website has helped you with some decent Guaranteed Rate Field tips…I would have liked to know about that Comiskey Burger. But here are a few extras things you might like to check out while you’re at the “Rate” (sigh).

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guaranteed rate field tips fundamentals

Because when you think youth baseball, you think Xfinity.

Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips, #1: The Fundamentals Kids Zone. The Comcast FUNdamentals area is located in the left field corner…kids can play on a wiffle ball field, and learn all kinds of baseball skills completely free of charge. It’s really impressive, as if the White Sox were attempting to make up for not having a kids zone for years.

It is also accessible from the upper level, so you don’t have to spend for a lower level seat just to bring the kids to happy zone. Nearby is a “Rookie’s Club” selling kid-sized portions of food.


guaranteed rate field tips view of chicago

Before all those big buildings were there, you could see Wrigley from here.

Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips, #2: The View From The Upper Level. As mentioned before, if you have an upper level seat you aren’t allowed in the lower sections. But it’s not all bad, since the ramps are on the northern side of the ballpark, and at the top on a clear day you can have a fine view of the Chicago skyline. This is even worth the trip if you’re sitting in the lower level to begin with.


guaranteed rate field tips rain room

When they put lockers in for towels, it’s gonna rock.

Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips, #3: The Rain Room. The Rain Room in the large outfield concourse area is a throwback to the days of late White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who never ran out of ways to improve the baseball experience for fans. It is a small area where fans can duck out of the heat and have a cool mist sprayed on them. The original shower was brought over from the old Comiskey, but is only on display now as an ad for some plumbing outfit. If you want to get some odd looks, head for the Rain Room during an April night game.

There are also the player statues in the outfield, the tailgating scene before the game, and the humorous special promotions the White Sox feature, like 80s Mullet Night (OK, my past mullet isn’t something I’d admit to…not for upper level tickets, anyway). All good stuff. But these are three of my favorite Guaranteed Rate Field tips.

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Where’s The Love For White Sox Fans?

Posted by Kurt Smith

I have great respect for White Sox fans. It can’t be easy. For all of the romanticizing of the 86-year championship drought endured by Red Sox fans and the continuing looking to next year that Cubs fans endured, White Sox fans never seemed to garner any sympathy for the 88 seasons that they pulled for the Pale Hose without seeing a championship.

Surely, thousands of fans attended games through their entire lives without ever once seeing their heroes on top of the baseball world.

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white sox fans 100 years

2001 was year 84 of the drought.

In the years from 1919 to 2005 after the Black Sox, the White Sox had four playoff appearances, losing in the first round of each one…the World Series of 1959, the American League Championship Series of 1983 and 1993, and the League Division Series of 2000. They had experienced almost every bit the level of futility as the Red Sox or Cubs, if not the devastating near misses. Yet the White Sox seemed to garner nowhere near the compassion.

One possible reason is, of course, the so-called Curse of the Black Sox. Bambino and Billy Goat curses are easier for fans to pour their heart into…after all, what did Ted Williams or Carl Yastrzemski or Ernie Banks or Ryne Sandberg do to deserve to never win a title in their careers? But it seems more just for the baseball gods to punish a team that desecrated the sanctity of the World Series.

To this day the biggest names associated with the White Sox to most fans are Charles Comiskey, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver and Eddie Cicotte…names that are just as well known (thanks partly to Eliot Asinof and Hollywood) as Frank Thomas, Luke Appling, Harold Baines or owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who paid for the 2005 championship drought-ending team. Even if you are sympathetic to Shoeless Joe, as many fans are, that can’t be an easy legacy to champion.

I’ve asked some White Sox fans what they think is the reason the Sox’s drought gets dismissed in comparison. The consensus is generally that while the Black Sox may have something to do with it, there are some other possible reasons too.

For one, White Sox never seemed to suffer the colossal near misses that the Red Sox did.


white sox fans red sox

They probably figured they’d be putting up another banner well before 2004.

The Red Sox made four World Series in their 86-year drought; each one went seven games and ended in a Red Sox loss. In 1986 the Red Sox blew a two-run lead in the tenth inning of Game 6, coming within one strike of winning the Series before a ground ball trickled through Bill Buckner’s legs.

The Curse of the Bambino was by far the easiest of all to really believe in, given the crushing defeats that always seemed to befall the Red Sox. Until the NLCS of 2003 and the infamous Bartman game, the Cubs seemed to simply suffer from a usually incompetent roster more than a black cloud waiting to unceremoniously deflate fragile hopes.

Another reason a White Sox fan suggested to me is the lack of a well-known rivalry with a team whose success on the field has been the opposite of futility. The Red Sox have, of course, the fierce rivalry with the Yankees that has lasted ever since the sale of Babe Ruth to the Bronx. The Yankees are the most successful team in major sports history, with 27 World Series championships.

In second place in World Series titles is the St. Louis Cardinals…who scored a miraculous 11th in 2011, and who were for many years the Cubs’ biggest rival. While interleague play has turned Cubs and White Sox fans into snarling crosstown enemies, the Cubs fans rivalry with Cards fans is still going pretty strong.


white sox fans indians

Don’t worry, we’ll get another star pitcher when Feller retires.

By contrast, the White Sox have never had a team in their division racking up titles and bringing crowing fans into Comiskey/U.S. Cellular/Guaranteed Rate from out of town.

There’s a rivalry of sorts with the Indians, but the Tribe has been enduring a pretty long championship drought of its own—64 years as of this writing and probably counting. White Sox fans don’t care much for Tigers fans, but the Tigers have only put four titles on the board, just one more than the Sox.

Then there’s the characterization of the teams’ fan bases.


white sox fans cta

Two directions…two entirely different baseball worlds.

Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago are separated only by a half-hour train ride on the CTA Red Line. But they might as well be in different countries. At Wrigley a baseball game is a celebration that engulfs the entire neighborhood, from the rooftops of nearby houses to the drinking establishments where the party often continues, win or lose.

At Guaranteed Rate, fans are there to see a game, and the only partying is in the parking lots—although there is a considerable amount of happy times there. There is almost no ballpark neighborhood to speak of, and the South Side has a reputation for being a place people don’t want to be at night, so if you’re not interested in baseball, you’re less likely to enjoy yourself at a White Sox game. But at least won’t be surrounded by mai-tai drinking cell phone users, and you can better follow what’s going down on the field.

Sure, what the Cubs endured was rough, and being a Red Sox fan for those 86 years could have made normal people suicidal. That aside, it’s not like White Sox fans haven’t had to endure more than their share of heartache.

They won 99 games in 1983, only to lose an ALCS to a seemingly destined Orioles club. They had to face a well-funded Blue Jays team in 1993 and hung tough until a six-game ALCS loss. The 2000 Sox won 95 games, the best in the American League, but fell to the Mariners in four games of the ALDS.

For 40 years, Sox fans had to live with their team corrupted into a loss in their last appearance in the World Series. The 1959 World Series loss to the Dodgers had to be tough too…Sox fans knew very well by then how long it could be before their team could make it back to the Big Show, and indeed the White Sox wouldn’t be back again for another 46 years.


white sox fans world champs

So what’s a measly 88 years?

That the Sox swept the Astros in four games in the 2005 Series probably saved the hearts of some older Sox fans, who would have had enough without a nail-biter seven-game Series.

To grow up in the city of Wrigley Field and the Cubs and become a White Sox fan, one must acquire or already possess a nonconformist nature. It could be argued that White Sox fans are more dedicated than most in baseball, even if the White Sox aren’t among league leaders in attendance. Not only did they go 88 years without a title, they did it without soulful books and poetic tributes from sportswriters about a suspected hex that had been placed on their team.

So here’s to the White Sox fans…and all their loyal dedication to the Sox without forming support groups.

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Old Comiskey Park – Book Review

Posted by Kurt Smith

Most baseball fans will tell you that the demolition of their old home ballpark was a very sad day in their lives, and Old Comiskey Park was no slouch in its historical value. As an Orioles fan I still feel that way about Memorial Stadium. But time moves on, and the job of an author is to capture what was.

My friend Floyd Sullivan, author of “Waiting for the Cubs”, has done an outstanding job of just that, with his collection of essays from writers, players and fans about the old ballpark on the South Side of Chicago. The full title of the tome is “Old Comiskey Park: Essays and Memories of the Historic Home of the Chicago White Sox, 1910-1991“.


Old Comiskey Park book

Old Comiskey Park, by Floyd Sullivan of the Waiting For The Cubs blog.

If you are an older Sox fan especially, this book should be your Bible when it comes to their beloved former home.

The book begins with a terrific piece from Carl Rinder, describing the early history of the area and the three neighborhoods bordering Comiskey: Bridgeport, Douglas, and Chinatown. This is followed by Richard Smiley’s essay of the construction of the new ballpark in 1910, replacing the then state of the art Sox Park.

From there the book details the history of events that took place at Comiskey…like the first ever All-Star Game, with the two teams led by the heavyweight managers of the day–John McGraw and Connie Mack; the Negro League games played by the American Giants of Chicago and the popular East-West games that were often played there; the 1919 “Black Sox” World Series, the 1959 World Series, the 1983 ALCS, and three other All-Star Games.

Sullivan himself contributes a section dedicated to other events held at Comiskey. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Cinderella Man”, you know that Joe Louis claimed James Braddock was the toughest fighter he ever fought. That fight took place at Comiskey. There were legendary wrestling matches, it was the home of the Chicago football Cardinals, even roller derby events. And of course, the Beatles played Comiskey Park.

My personal favorite parts of the book are the bits about the inimitable Bill Veeck, who owned the Sox for a spell and was known for his imaginative promotions.

Dan Helpingtine contributes a great bit about Veeck…including, of course, the story behind “Disco Demolition Night”. It wasn’t Veeck’s finest hour.

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old comiskey park book veeck

Veeck as in wreck.

But Veeck’s contributions to the game are often underappreciated…such as the home run celebration, extremely common today but unusual when the scoreboard first exploded at Comiskey. That was not a popular celebration among other teams…which was precisely why it stayed.

And I didn’t know this: the tradition of Harry Caray singing ”Take Me Out To The Ballgame” started at Comiskey. Caray was the White Sox announcer, and Bill Veeck urged him to lead the crowd, knowing that everyone in the stands could sing it better than he could and wouldn’t be afraid to join in. If that doesn’t cement Veeck as a promotional genius, I don’t know what does.

old comiskey park book shower

Guaranteed Rate Field does indeed have the shower.

Another excellent piece comes from Greg Prince, author of the popular Mets blog “Faith and Fear in Flushing”. Prince tells his story of being in Chicago on business and wanting to visit Wrigley, but with the Cubs out of town he decides reluctantly to visit Comiskey instead…and while there he is shocked by what a true gem Comiskey turned out to be as a home of baseball, and to this day favors it to Camden Yards and PNC Park.

Towards the end are the somber reflections of players, personnel and fans as they share their memories and the emotion of losing their childhood second home. Interestingly, there is a consensus that it needed to be replaced among most, very unlike the angry fan reaction to the demise of Tiger Stadium. But this isn’t of much comfort to fans. There are quite a few tearjerker moments, something older Tigers and Orioles fans can certainly understand.

“Old Comiskey Park” is a large volume, and it works best as a coffee table book that you can open to any page and read a story about something that happened at Comiskey…like the first All-Star Game, the East-West Negro League games, or Disco Demolition Night. Or the great White Sox teams, like the Go-Go Sox or the South Side Hitmen, or the personalities like Charles Comiskey, Al Simmons or Bill Veeck.

For anyone who loved the old park, it’s an absolute must have…and for any White Sox fan or student of baseball history, it’s a great read. Check it out.

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